Movie of the Week: Viy (2014)

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May 26, 2015

Movie of the Week: Viy (2014)

By J.Hawk

 This is a weekly Fort Russ feature. To view other editions, click on the Movie of the Week tab above the title.

The movie is a very recent adaptation of the Gogol tale which takes place in what is today called Ukraine, though with certain modifications to keep up with the times. The film is here, alas without subtitles:

There is also a 1968 version which is shorter, has fewer special effects, but has subtitles:

 Anyway, tell me if any of this sounds familiar. Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus three seminary students are traveling on vacation, with one of them falling victim to nationalism witchcraft and settling down to minister to a Cossack village whose members are being killed off by Vladimir Putin Viy, a seven-horned monster straight out from Hell. Except that it turns out that Viy is really Petro Poroshenko the village priest who dresses up as Viy to murder the locals and generally intimidate them, so as to force them to retain control over everything they do. I’d say it’s a pretty good treatment of the political usefulness of false flag attacks, wouldn’t you? Considering the movie came out in 2014, it must have been filmed before Maidan, which makes the fact that it captured contemporary state of Ukrainian politics so well all the more remarkable.

But its powers of prophecy don’t end there. The central character in the movie is an English cartographer by the name of John Kerry Jonathan Greene, and the movie sort of intimates that maybe some of these problems came from the West in the first place. There is, for example, a seemingly trivial yet highly memorable scene in which Greene’s carriage suffers a mishap and one of its wheels ends up hanging in a tree, on fire, (at that point I couldn’t help but thinking of Azov’s Black Sun emblem), and in full view of the Cossacks. And, when the movie’s plot is done with and Viy has been exposed, Scooby Doo-style, Greene heads back to England, unbeknownst to him carrying one of the dumplings-turned-monster from an earlier scene of the movie. With the implication here being that, I think, the fire that the West started in Ukraine and which was intended to spread to Russia is now liable to spread in the opposite direction following a blast or two from Northern Wind. Poland’s recent election of Duda, a strident Polish Catholic-Nationalist, actually takes that country a big step closer to having a Maidan of its own…

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